REVIEW: Mic King & Chum’s “Flavor Ade”

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Icon The Mic King is someone who I’ve been following for a long time, and now as he simplifies his name to be the appropriate Mic King (his real name is Michael King, so maybe this was meant to be). With slight moniker modification, it definitely does not signify simplicity in his writing, style, and execution of his rhymes. He teams up with producer Chum (known to some as The Skrilla Guerilla) for a great album called Flavor Ade, and this is an example of someone who is showing how confident he is in his own shoes.

Some rappers will choose to rap two ways: have a cocky attitude that is meant to represent fake gangsterism, and then a mock romantic attitude that is nothing more than a lure to bring ladies into their realm. Maybe it’s a facade that some people enjoy, but Mic King plays a different role in “Gimme Some Sugar”, or at least, his swagger here is mixed in with a bit of humor that isn’t often heard in other rappers who talk the talk, but little else is happening. “I’m The Best Mayne” has him trying to talk about his chain dangling in a Lil’ Wayne manner, but the singer (a self-proclaimed “Robot Boy”) that does his thing with Auto-Tune sounds like what would happen if you got someone who was not only off-key, but off-tempo, and turned him into a star. It could be parody or mockery, but it works, with the power of Greyskull.

Throughout the album, Mic King and Chum go from modern hip-hop tomfoolery to early 90’s new jack celebration, to exploring some of the more appreciated hip-hop sounds of the last decade. This makes sense since that’s what he was raised on, but then get into the album’s last track, “Kind Of Woman”. He does a few lines and verses in double time, and it’s as if he knows he can do other styles with his eyes closed, and this is on the next level shit. Not only that, but his speedy delivery here not only sounds good, but he’s making sense, it’s not the hip-hop equivalent of Al Jarreau or Bobby McFerrin where all he’s doing is saying “I got the business, doopidi doopii, doo, dearrwww dearrwww.” Mic King is a no-bullshit rapper who isn’t afraid to shine the spotlight on the bullshit in the music, as if to say “this is what you’re loving, I got something a lot more satisfying.” With Elzhi of Slum Village helping out in the string-ridden “Wordperfect”, and Slug of Atmosphere dropping an inspiring verse in “Snake Oil”, Mic King shows he is nothing more than a missionary on a mission who is in a position to go deep, while looking at you directly in the eye. He’s not a doggie style rapper, and Chum is not a doggie style producer, his samples and basslines are appropriate, the transitions in “Wordperfect” are award-worthy and I hope he gets recognized for that alone.

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